A Griffon of the Imperial Guard in combat during the Taros Campaign

The Griffon is a light artillery tank of the Imperial Guard that is equipped with a Heavy Mortar Cannon and is based on the Chimera chassis. The tank is the lightest of the Imperial Guard's artillery and siege tanks, and is smaller in both size and firepower than the Basilisk, Medusa, and Bombard tanks. The Griffon is used as an indirect-fire support vehicle for infantry during offensive sieges and is also used to fire over walls and other barriers. The main weapon of the Griffon is not capable of long-range fire like the Basilisk, or powerful enough to destroy heavy vehicles and structures. The Griffon has been in Imperial service since the time of the Great Crusade, when it was known to the Imperial Army as the "Helios Mortar Carrier."

The Griffon is much maligned by Imperial military commanders because its weapon lacks in range and firepower compared to the heavier artillery pieces and main battle tanks. The Griffon is slowly becoming extinct as a frontline unit as less and less are replaced after being lost during a battle and its manufacturing rate amongst the Imperial Forge Worlds is steadily declining.

Yet, when deployed correctly, the Griffon has many advantages over its larger cousins. The Griffon is much more mobile and has a higher rate of fire than most other armoured vehicles, and can keep up with other fast-moving Imperial forces, whereas a Basilisk would fall behind or even slow down the advance. The Griffon is also able to use the same ammunition variants as the stand-alone Heavy Mortar Cannon and so the Griffon has become a niche weapon in many Imperial armoured regiments.

Known Regiments That Make Use of the Griffon


The Griffon is armed with a single Heavy Mortar Cannon, known as the Griffon Heavy Mortar. The weapon is capable of highly accurate bombardments against enemy fortifications due to the stable platform from which it is fired. The weapon is also able to make use of multiple types of ammunition, each to meet a different set of circumstances. The vehicle is equipped with a hull-mounted Heavy Bolter for self-defence against enemy infantry that get too close for the main mortar to fire upon. This weapon can be switched out for a Heavy Flamer for urban combat deployments. The Griffon can be outfitted with an enclosed crew compartment, which can have a pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber or Storm Bolter equipped. The vehicle can also be fitted with a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, Extra Armour Plating, a dozer blade, a mine plough, and camouflage netting, a searchlight, or smoke launchers.

Ammunition Variants

  • High Explosive - High Explosive Rounds are the standard shells used by both the Heavy Mortar Cannon and the Griffon. These shells are more than capable of destroying infantry units and even vehicles through their sheer explosive force.
  • Fragmentation - Fragmentation Rounds are timed charge shells that explode before hitting the ground and shower the area with shrapnel. These shells are employed against large numbers of closely-packed infantry.
  • Siege Shells - Siege Shells are used against enemy structures and fortifications. They are fused to explode after hitting the ground, causing damage to the building's foundation.
  • Melta Shells - Melta Shells undergo a sub-atomic reaction upon impact and release a blast of intense heat. They are capable of doing tremendous damage to armoured units and infantry alike.
  • Inferno Rounds - Inferno Round shells are packed with a highly flammable substance such as an oxy-phosphor gel or a thermite compound, causing everything in the vicinity of its explosion to burst into flame. This fire is difficult to extinguish and its flammable gel will stick to most surfaces. As a result, most infantry and vehicles will retreat when faced with a concentrated barrage of Inferno Rounds.
  • Illumination Shells - Illumination shells are fired high into the air on a parabolic arc where they deploy a parachute and slowly drift downwards. The shell burns very brightly on its way down to illuminate the battlefield for night operations.
  • Smoke Shells - Smoke Shells cover the impact area with a dense layer of smoke which is used to conceal the location of friendly forces.
  • Carcass Shells - Carcass Shells are crude corrosive and incendiary munitions employed on Griffons used by the Death Korps of Krieg whose formula dates back to the Krieg Civil War. Though undoubtedly effective, Carcass Shells are highly unstable and are not sanctified for use by the other regiments of the Imperial Guard due to their extremely hazardous nature.

Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications

Griffon Heavy Mortar Carrier
Vehicle Name: Griffon Main Armament: Heavy Mortar Cannon
Forge World of Origin: Vanaheim Secondary Armament: Heavy Bolter
Known Patterns: I - VIII Traverse: 0 degrees
Crew: 1 Commander, 1 Driver, 1 Gunner, 1 Loader Elevation: 35 to 80 degrees
Powerplant: Vulcanor 16 Twin Coupled Multi-Fuel Main Ammunition: 20 Rounds
Weight: 310 Tonnes Secondary Ammunition: 300 Rounds
Length: 13.5 metres Armour:
Width: 8.4 metres
Height: 6.3 metres Superstructure: 100 millimetres
Ground Clearance: 1.2 metres Hull: 150 millimetres
Max Speed On-Road: 70 kilometres per hour Gun Mantlet: N/A
Max Speed Off-Road: 55 kilometres per hour Vehicle Designation: 247-941-2544-RG18
Transport Capacity: N/A Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Turret: N/A


  • Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pg. 164
  • Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 9, 159, 162, 168, 264-265, 267
  • Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 233-235
  • Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One
  • Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two
  • Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 134, 186-187
  • Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pp. 176, 188
  • The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions (Background Book), pg. 122

Also See


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